A Columbus woman accused of leaving her two children alone already was under investigation by the Muscogee County Department of Family and Children Services when a caseworker found 5-year-old and 2-year-old boys Wednesday, witnesses said Thursday during a Recorder's Court hearing.
Iesha Branae Wiggins, 26, was charged with two counts of reckless conduct after police were called to her 1410 Talbotton Road apartment. Wiggins pleaded not guilty to the charges before Judge Julius Hunter set bonds totaling $4,000 and bound the charges over to Muscogee State Court.
Police officer Demetrius Battle told the court a DFCS caseworker had stopped by the apartment and the woman was let in by a 5-year-old boy, but the mother wasn’t there. An uncle dropped by the apartment 30 minutes later to check on the children.
Jamel Rooks said she arrived at the apartment about 7:22 p.m. as part of her investigation on the older boy. She said the uncle arrived about 25 minutes later but the mother never appeared after she called out for the mother.
Rooks also noted the uncle entered the apartment through the back door. “He was there to protect the children,” Rooks told the court.
Battle said the mother arrived and said she had been smoking a cigarette outside on the back porch for about 30 minutes.
Wiggins was represented by public defender Michael Bodiford, who asked Hunter to give an appropriate bond to the mother. She hopes to eventually get her children back home.
In considering the bond, Rooks also told the judge that Wiggins was already part of an ongoing investigation with DFACS.
Wiggins didn’t testify during the 2.p.m. hearing.